‘Dead Men Tell No Tales’ gives us more reason why we need new content.

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Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales tells the story of Captain Jack Sparrow in his search for the trident of Poseidon.

If it’s one thing that’s missing from Dead Men Tell No Tales is the magic of The Curse of the Black Pearl. Even the second and third instalments still have some essence of it but as soon as the unnecessary fourth and fifth instalments came around, we’re left scratching our heads.

The original movie that set this five movie series on it’s way over the last ten plus years was part of the reason why I wanted to get into filmmaking — the hilarious comedic writing combined with swashbuckling action by original writers Terry Rossio and Ted Elliott captured not only me but the audiences as well. And I’m not ashamed to say that I saw the film about four times in the cinemas alone and have worn down my copies on tape (yes, you read that right) and DVD. I loved the movie that much.

So when I heard there was to be a sequel, I was undoubtedly excited and in the end wasn’t too disappointed with the sequel or the three-quel. At this point, however, I’m just questioning why Disney and Producer powerhouse Jerry Bruckheimer wish to keep on rehashing a series that’s clearly dead.

The main reason a lot of people went to see the film in Johnny Depp’s ~Captain~ Jack Sparrow has lost his way, no longer the same actor or the same actor. It’s been thirteen years since The Curse of the Black Pearl and what made his character so captivating has lost its charm. He’s getting older and it truly shows. He hasn’t at all matured with his age and his star power losing its shine. Half that time, it seems like that Sparrow was just drunk. Not the tipsy we’re used to seeing Sparrow in previous instalments, he’s just drunk, tells terrible “jokes,” and contains none of the insane genius we grew to love him for.

It doesn’t help that the script was terribly poor, giving the rest of us more hope that we could one day write a feature film. Dead Men Tell No Tales does open to something hopeful, but it’s an annoyingly false hope that’s given to us. It loses it’s rhythm and it’s pacing all over the pace. There are characters that done need to be there and the entire project just lacks any dynamic.

Even though the decision to bring back Orlando Bloom’s Will Turner is a bright decision, he’s lack of involvement is disappointing, additionally so when Depp adds more than his fair share of flaws to the film. Much like Ryan Reynolds involvement in Life, Bloom’s screen time added up to no more than ten minutes at the most and was more than likely brought back to lure fans into the cinema

The only thing that really shone about the film, and the only thing that you’d remember the film by, is Javier Bardem’s Captain Salazaar. He’s such a creepily good villain, it’s no doubt that he did the best that he could with the role.

You could say that I’m disappointed in the film, but in all honestly, I could care less.

Film-O-Meter: 6/10.

Agony is the best part of ‘Into the Woods.’

Into The Woods is a film about  a witch who tasks a childless baker and his wife with finding magical items from classic fairy tales to reverse the curse put on their family tree.

Right off the bat, I would like to say I’m someone who grew up watching and loving Disney. They have always told stories that have found their ways into our hearts with song and beautifully designed visuals. When someone were to mention “Disney,” we would think of songs like “Let It Go” (as overplayed and cringe worthy as it is to some) from Frozen; “I’ll Make A Man Out Of You” fromMulan; or even the opening to the Lion King.

With new addition of Into The Woods to the Disney repertoire I don’t think it will ever have the lasting affect. Even when it’s a film with an “all star cast” (whatever that means), where a decent majority of them can actually sing but some with an ear shattering quality.

Into The Woods is almost like an opposite of what a Disney movie should be. What I’m trying to say is that the songs and characters were weak. Hardly any of the characters gave a genuine performance. There were so many fairy tales in this film that maybe it clouded the story a bit too much with the audience’s preconception of it’s characters.

If you’re going to do a re-telling of a well known story, or even a compilation like in this film, you have to do it well. And in this case, Into The Woods failed to do that.

I did enjoy the film. The first half, at least. I went into the film knowing little about it. At school, some of the musical theatre students performed the musical, but I was too young at the time to really have the interest in musical theatre I did when I reached their age. What I did understand, though, was that it was an interesting weave of a multitude of fairytales that is then turned upon it’s head in the second act.

During certain parts of the film, I wondered if there were meant to be inconsistencies with accents – by that I mean, were the cast told just to have their own natural accents, whether it be British or American, without bothering to even consider confusing the locale of the story? At least make it accent neutral. One or the other.

I do have to admire, though, Chris Pine’s attempts at what seemed to be a British accent and his performance was one of the few highlights of the film.

Film-O-Meter: 6/10.

‘Mortdecai’ is a film that shouldn’t have been made.

Mortdecai is a film about debonair art dealer and part time rogue Charlie Mortdecai who juggles angry Russians, the British MI5, and an international terrorist to recover a stolen painting rumoured to contain a code that leads to Nazi gold.

It’s just a shame to see that Johnny Depp is get worse and worse with every movie his in. He hasn’t played a decent role in years. Probably since Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl and that film was made over ten years ago. Even Finding Neverland, which was released a year late in 2004, was a heartfelt performance but he has since dropped off since then. His cameo in 21 Jump Street was a nice surprise but was just a rehash of something he had done at the beginning of his career. It is definitely clear now that Depp is happy off doing his own thing and not really caring what us as an audience or the general consensus of his performance mannerisms are. Many of his latter characters in his films have become quite similar. Mortedcai can definitely be seen to be closely moulded to that of Jack Sparrow.

Depp has constantly been headlining roles in projects with large budgets that have barely broken even (see The Lone Ranger) and over time, shrivelled away without any pop culture impact.

I know it’s probably not fair that I should be criticising him so harshly, but stars with names like Depp’s can pull a fair amount of funding from investors that result in films like The Rum Diary, Dark Shadows, and Transcendence to be made. With his name included, amongst other factors, those films were able to be made.

The question is: how could writer Eric Aronson, director David Koepp, and produce Depp be apart of something so awfully unfunny? It was badly written and directed. If done better, it could’ve been more interesting then it presented itself to be but instead, it was something I could barely force myself to sit through.

This film proves that if you make a film about a character who can’t take himself seriously, the audiences won’t be able to take the film seriously. Mortdecai as a character was poorly-constructed and the film was already up in flames before we left the opening scene because of its reliance on said character. The story was enough to make you crazy and it wasn’t because it was confusing. It was because of it’s weakly-written supporting roles from actors (Oliva Munn, Ewan McGregor) who have proven to hold their weight in a variety of films.

The film is a $60million flop that was an easy pick for critics and audiences’ worst film of the year, along with the horror that is Fifty Shades of Grey.

Film-O-Meter: 4/10.

‘Black Mass’ is worth the watch with a grain of salt.

Black Mass is the true story of White Bulger, the brother of a state senator and the most infamous violent criminal in the history of South Boston, who became an FBI informant to take down a Mafia family invading his turf.

Black Mass is another crime-drama set in Boston that will inevitably be compared to that of The Departed, although definitely less violent and Johnny Depp transforming into his role to finally see him back in fine form once more. He’s genuinely threatening and his altered appearance definitely helps with instilling fear in those around him.

Depp’s performance and the look of the film are two of the best things about it. Black Mass has the look of a show of its era and it definitely works in it’s favour, but however, it stops there.

Cumberbatch’s performance was decent in the scene’s he was in but his accent was slightly off and it wasn’t perfect exactly perfect. It didn’t suit him at all. But this doesn’t mean that the Boston accent doesn’t seem natural on those who aren’t from that area, or who aren’t American. Australian Joel Edgerton nailed his accents and it didn’t drop once.

Again, this might be another film that’s trying to cover so much in a short period of time and because if this, it lacks focus. Sure the film has main character but it hardly goes into the relationships Bulger has with his friends and family. His wife, played by Dakota Johnson who held one of the weaker performances in the film, disappears half way through and we never hear of what happened to her ever again – even in the closing montage where we learn of the fate of the characters.

All in all, it’s something worth watching but maybe with a grain of salt.

Film-O-Meter: 6/10.

A shameful attempt at a sequel.

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Alice Through the Looking Glass is a film about Alice returning to the whimsical world of Wonderland and travels back in time to save the Mad Hatter.

All I could say that I was totally and utterly bored. Johnny Depp hasn’t done a good film since Finding Neverland. His draw as an actor is slowly dwindling and nothing more than a shell of what he used to be. Black Mass was good but not redeeming enough for him and Alice Through the Looking Glass settled him more into the swallowing pit box office bombs and films that he’s been apart of that have failed to really gain any sort of critical acclaim.

And not to mention his whole “sneaking his whole dog into Australia” debacle that he STILL can’t get over is a bit ridiculous and don’t even get me started on that because I certainly have some heated opinions about it (including that he is still a regular human being, no matter his status, and he broke the law and Jimmy Kimmel – thank you for calling Australian’s “dumb” on television, it really shows how mature you are).

Either way, it’s just a shame in the wake of the Hunger Game franchise concluding, there hasn’t really been any films with a female lead that has been that strong or well written not just in her character but in the overall sense. The actors did what they could within the script but by no means was this an excuse for the film as a whole to be so poor.

It isn’t the worst movie that I’ve seen this year but its pretty bad. Not atrocious but its down there with the worst of them and because of that, it makes the original Tim Burton helmed film look so much better than it originally was. There’s nothing that makes you want to care about this film AT ALL and it’s attempts to “weave” a time-traveling story like that of X-Men’s Days of Future Past, Looper, or even About Time all accomplished the rules of time-travel within their universes well enough for it all to make proper sense while Alice Through the Looking Glass seemed to get a little lost along the way.

In all honestly, it’s really just not worth it at all.

Film-O-Meter: 2/10.